Just now I was posting on my Tumblr pictures of the High Priestess and my understanding of her began to deepen. It’s not that different from digging in the Tarot books, uncovering layers of meaning from different writers. I’ve got an Angeles Arrien on my lap this morning and I quoted this:
The camel within the oasis symbolizes the return to the inner oasis or garden within. The camel also represents self-resourcefulness in its capacity to go long barren distances, yet always find the oasis.
And then I started scrolling — so many High Priestesses, even among the Coleman tradition. I began to see her blue lushness, no longer a flat, two-dimensional image. She opened to me and showed me her half moon and her crystal and her chair. Do we ever see a High Priestess not sitting down?
I keep scrolling and see more and more creative interpretations of this card — but often the lone female visionary (or with animal companion) staring straight at us, keeper of secret knowledge and the suggestion to “trust your intuition.” The night is also her companion. The moon. She shows us her many pomegranates. I remember once reading a discussion of whether the pomegranate was the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. Or maybe I learned it in Mishnah class, years ago, ah…
When you see the High Priestess, when you pull this card, you are in passive mode, receptivity — it’s not the time to “go for it.” Instead, sit back and wait for the information to come. Or that that is HOW you go for it. By sitting still.
She’s on my mind this morning because I asked the Tarot a question and she was my first advice card, the first of three — the second one was The Fool, which definitely feels like an opposing pair to me! The Fool is off on an adventure and the Priestess is… here, inside us.
I will take her advice though. I will go the long (sigh) barren (sigh again) distance and, God willing, find my oasis.
I wish I could post all the images here of all the women, the face of feminine power, of which there are many.
The High Priestess does not doubt herself or her magic. She is not ashamed even when others (friends? family?) disparage or poke fun at her books or rituals, beliefs, interests, power, knowledge. She’s above all that. What time has she for pettiness or jealousy? None.
Power is one of THE Scorpio Season themes. Mastery of your power. Keeping yours, not giving it away to others who’d like to spin you like a top (which isn’t even personal! It’s just their habit). My astrology teacher used to make a distinction between self-control and self-mastery. Self-control feeling like… eyes shut tight, braced against the storm whereas in self-mastery your eyes are open. Her eyes are open.
If she looks/feels a little stiff to you in the Rider Waite deck, then please explore. You don’t even need to buy other decks. Stroll through Google, surround yourself with the master Tarot writers and she’ll open to you, one Saturday morning when you don’t know what’s next. I’ll quote Arrien again:
The High Priestess within one is working easily and effortlessly.
Is this you?
Wishing you good cards xx
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